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Lyon to Toronto, from finance to music

Abel Maxwell is gone in 2007 for Canada, hoping to realize his dream of an artistic career. Mission accomplished : he has released this year his fourth album.

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Lyon to Toronto, from finance to music

Abel Maxwell is gone in 2007 for Canada, hoping to realize his dream of an artistic career. Mission accomplished : he has released this year his fourth album.

He had the idea of flying to three years. Thirteen years later, it is still there. In 2007, Abel Maxwell has set its sights on Toronto, his permanent resident visa in the pocket. "I wanted to grow up, learning other cultures, enjoying the melting pot of the Queen city," explains the quadra, born in Dakar to parents from togo, who lived his childhood in Africa, and then on the basin of Arcachon before pursuing further studies in business administration in Amsterdam, and set in Lyon. A melting pot all by himself !

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Passionate about music, the young Abel began at the age of seven years a course in piano at the conservatory. He also loves to sing and has been involved in several choirs. In 2003, he founded his own choir of gospel music in Lyon. Thirty years on, he co-directs the choir, Lyon Gospel Mass Choir (130 singers) and participates in the organization of the festival of Gospel music in Lyon, working for a theatre and for the opera. But the North American dream. His mother, his sister and his brother live in the United States. He chose Canada, for fear of being "swallowed up by american culture."

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This will be Toronto, ideally located between New York and Montreal. Because Abel has an intuition : the French language will be a competitive advantage in English-speaking Canada. He has already recorded a debut album and part of the Atlantic with this idea that the country to the maple leaf will help him reach their full potential as an artist. And to break down barriers : "I had experienced a bit of racism in France, I wanted to be judged for my skills and my values, not my skin color," says Abel Maxwell.

A first concert in Montreal

The young man landed in the capital city of Ontario with a single contact, a friend who he had visited a year earlier during a holiday. He finds a job in finance but does not lose sight of his goal : to make music. Very quickly, it takes a year sabbatical, and will not ultimately not in his position. He scoured the halls, looking to get to know musicians, and earned his first concert at the Upstairs Jazz Club, Montreal, February 28, 2010. A date that ll is not ready to forget ! He then took part in several jazz festivals in Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa. The meeting with a production house, BODB Entertainment, will propel it. His second album, Interludes, comes out in 2015. The third album, Breaks, steps as early as 2016 with a title box, Por Favor, devoted to violence against women, which earned him a prize from Unesco.

first, true to his training in jazz, Abel Maxwell evolves through the albums to a register pop and afro-beat. But the majority of his texts are always in French, and it holds a lot : "I discovered the Toronto francophonie, diverse and vibrant," explains the young artist. Sing in French in an anglo-saxon world, it is a nice way to distinguish themselves." In 2018, it is chosen as a spokesperson for the program Epelle me Canada, which values the language of Molière among children aged 6 to 14 years.

His last album, released in February 2020, just before the containment, bears the mark of this wealth culurelle, to the image of his title - Contradictions. The main message is summarized in a song in English - Never give up - but also in another French - Courage - that he has interpreted to Toronto in front of 800 people during the Month of Black history.

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Journées Québec and Destination, Canada-post-Covid : mark your calendars ! In Quebec, English is often necessary for finding a job Months in Quebec," 2020 : entries open August 15

A double life, as an artist and entrepreneur

He never gave up his dream and while working as a consultant and entrepreneur, he has managed to achieve its goal. "What is interesting here," said Abel Maxwell is that everything is possible. We don't put people in a box." Its integration has not been difficult : "The English are very open, it should not hesitate to knock on doors, to go towards the others," he advises. Today, 100 000 people the follow on social networks. Private tour to promote her latest album, pandemic is forcing, he still went to Lomé to tell about it in the media experience. That of a happy man who navigates with ease in a city that is nourished of multiple cultural influences - european, american, african, and language. And for that Toronto was not only welcoming, but also inspiring.

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